Writing 123 - Cora Agatucci
English Composition [Research-Based Academic Writing]

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Research  Proposal

WR 123 Research Proposal
Short cuts on  this webpage: Directions & Evaluation Checklist
See Course Plan for deadlines
See also
Example Student Research Proposal



Juanita Yourlastname
WR 123, Prof. C. Agatucci
Research Proposal: Final Draft
8 October 2003



Approval and Grading:  Complete, workable Research Proposals that address satisfactorily all the directions given below and that promise successful outcomes, will be approved and graded; however, incomplete or unsatisfactory proposals will be returned unapproved and ungraded, and student researchers asked to revise and resubmit as soon as possible.  Research Proposal is worth 20% of your course grade. 

             Organize your proposal, label and number according to the four sections described below.  Address all parts of each section completely.  Completeness, persuasiveness, clarity, coherence and correctness of your written presentation will be considered in the grading, so please plan, draft, edit, and proofread before submitting your formal Proposal for approval and grading. 

Suggested length is 3 to 4 typed/wordprocessed, doublespaced pages; however, your Proposal should be as long as it needs to be to describe your research topic and strategy in some detail and include discussion of all parts of the four of the topics listed below.

Manuscript Preparation (MS):  Research Proposals must be typed or wordprocessed, and double-spaced, with 1” margins, or they will not be accepted.  Please type the MLA-style header given above in the upper left-hand corner of the first page of your formal Proposal, and running page header on subsequent pages as illustrated above.   NOTE: I do not double space this directions handout to save space.  Be sure to edit and proofread your Final Draft for clarity, coherence, and grammatical correctness (WRPAC Section 8 may be helpful).

See Example Student Research Proposal on the WR 123 course web site – but note that html formatting restrictions may not show required double spacing, new paragraph indentation, or running page headers.
Available:  <http://www.cocc.edu/cagatucci/classes/wr123/assignments/exproposal.htm>

1.            Introduce your Research Topic, Describe its Projected Value, & State your Chosen Documentation Style

a.                   Introduce your research topic and explain why you have chosen it - the source of its interest or importance for you.  Describe what you anticipate to be the value of your research project--for others, as well as yourself.  Write your proposal for a general, uninformed audience.  (In your discussion you may wish to answer these kinds of questions:  Why is this research project of interest to you and worth doing?  What do you hope to gain from it?  How do you think you and/or others may be able to use or benefit from your research findings?)

b.                  Explain why/how the choice is appropriate for Writing 123 in terms of some of the other considerations for selecting a topic discussed in class and in our textbook

c.                   Declare your chosen documentation system, based on the subject matter of your research topic:  see WRPAC Sect. 7 for selection principles and Appendices A-E for choices.  NOTE:  If you are going to research the same topic for Writing 123 and another class, please consult with the other course instructor on the documentation style recommended or required.

2.         State your Leading Research Question and Working Hypothesis

            a.  State the leading Research Question that you propose to pursue for your research project in Writing 123 (see WRPAC  Sec. 2D & 2E). 

            b.  State your Working Hypothesis—that is, propose an initial response to that leading Research Question (your leading assumption based on exploratory reseach and thinking) which you plan to open to question, investigate and test through your research.  See WRPAC Sec. 2D. 

3.                  Describe your Research Strategy

Your goal is to convince your reader that you have a well-defined point of departure for your research project and a clear sense of direction as you launch into your research in earnest, supported by substantial, promising exploratory research and serious preliminary thinking and reading about your topic.

            a.  What do you need to find out through your research?  Provide an organized list of the important questions raised by your topic, key terms and concepts to be defined and explained, and relevant inferences and assumptions that you hold about your topic and that you will open to question and investigation. (See WRPAC  Sec. 2E & 2D, & pp. 34-35.).  Your lists of questions and assumptions should be grouped or organized logically into related categories and major lines of inquiry relevant to and supportive of your leading Research Question and Working Hypothesis.  Your lists should demonstrate that you have already conducted thorough and thoughtful exploratory research, reading, and thinking on your topic—ie.,  you know enough about your topic focus now to frame good questions and recognize major lines of inquiry.

            b.  How and where will you look for answers?  [Don't just respond, "In the library."]  In this section of your Research Proposal, identify the key search terms--subject headings and key words--which define your investigation and which you will use to find sources on your topic.   Draw upon your preliminary research so far on your topic, describe key answers and ideas already gained on the topic, identify the types of primary and secondary sources you plan to investigate, and illustrate your points by referring to some specific representative source titles listed among your sources (see #4 below).  Based upon your reading of WRPAC  Sec. 2, Sec. 3, your library explorations, your own hunches and ideas, and any other useful resources, describe further plans you have formulated for finding the necessary sources and evidence for your research project, and answers to your research questions. 

4.         List Sources Already Consulted in Your Exploratory Research

            List at least seven (7) sources already consulted during your exploratory research.   Do not yet worry about adhering exactly to your chosen documentation system’s bibliographical format, but review the WRPAC Appendix for your chosen documentation style and try to follow the format and give complete information on each source. After each entry, please specify the type of source [e.g., book, specialized encyclopedia, journal article, etc.].

Evaluation Checklist                                            
WR 123 Research Proposal
Spring 2002, Prof. C. Agatucci
Worth 20% of course grade                 

APPROVED:  Grade________
NOT APPROVED: Revision required_______

___1. Introduction
___a. Introduction to research topic is clear & suitable for general, non-specialist audience
___a. Student’s reasons for choosing topic are elaborated and are persuasive in promising that student can sustain interest and commitment to the research project and bring it to successful completion.  The topic’s (potential) value to student researcher and others is projected.
___b. Other reasons for topic choice (e.g. number of sources available, doubled up with research  project for another class, willingness to conduct open-minded inquiry) also make it appropriate for WR 123 one-quarter project.
___c.  Documentation system appropriate to the topic choice is declared.

___2. Research Questions & Working Hypothesis – predict a clear enabling focus and point of departure for this proposed research project
___a. Leading research question is clearly stated and provides a central focus or clear point of departure for the research project.
___b. Working hypothesis (a preliminary answer to the leading research question) is clearly stated; and seems well-informed or specific enough to suggest diligent exploratory research, preliminary reading & thinking has been conducted in preparing this proposal.

____3.  Research Strategy Description – shows strong evidence of serious, diligent exploratory research and preliminary thinking/reading on the research topic; 3.a & b offer persuasive, complete accounts of a workable, logical college-level informational research strategy, developed specifically enough to direct future research in promising ways.
___a. Thoughtful, relevant, well-informed  research questions and assumptions are listed —and  they are organized in logical order, related groupings, and/or major lines of inquiry. 
___b.  Key search terms used to find sources are identified, in discussing how and where the student researcher has looked for sources;
___b.  Description of key answers and ideas already gained on the topic, and the types of primary and secondary sources consulted during exploratory research are clearly presented, illustrated by some specific representative source titles.
___b. Description of further plans and leads for locating relevant sources (needed to answer research questions and test hypothesis/assumptions) are thoughtful and promise to yield a solid research base from which to develop a critical research paper.

___4. List of Sources Already Consulted offers further evidence of diligent Exploratory Research
___At least seven (7) useful sources already consulted are listed
___The type of source (e.g. book, journal article, etc.)  is indicated in each case
___Fairly) complete bibliographical information is given on each source, showing some attempt to try to follow selected documentation system format.

___5. Clarity, Coherence and Correctness of the Written Presentation

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Last updated: 04 January 2004

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